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A balanced World Cup!
Mar 05, 2007 05:53 PM 5132 Views


Another Cricket World Cup is around the corner, but India's World Cup chances doesn't too bright. They did won two series at home, but winning at home has been nothing more than just formality for the Indian team. What they should be more concerned about, are the away defeats in the last abroad series against South Africans and also West Indians. In some manner, Indians have certainly helped West Indians to climb up the rating with that series.

Indians were never in the equation if we consider the DLF trophy and the Mini World Cup. The two series in the Indian soil might have helped the team to boost their morale, but some more matches abroad would have given a better idea of how good the team is. Going back, just before the 2003 World Cup, the team had a bad run at New Zealand, but they reached the finals, but did the worst in the finals, and the Indians lost another final then.


This time, the venue is different, shedule is different, and we have a World Cup in which there is no favourite! The super 8 format may make the game more interesting, as it balances the sides in a better way. Even if South Africans have an edge as the number one team in the world, and having a great pace attack, their chances of prevailing in the Carribean conditions won't be the best. Lets see how the hosts manage to make use of their home advantage, as its time West Indies do some justice to their glorious past.

Australians who have been under the siege all these days, will have their own chances as the defending champions, even without Brett Lee and so will be the Kiwis and the English team with the high confidence they gained from those victories against the World Champions. I believe that England's confidence on the two players Kevin Pieterson and Paul Collingwood will be brought to test this time.


All others among the top eight teams can also have their own reasons to boast, and we can easily predict these eight teams which will advance to the next round. The presence of the teams like Bermuda and all doesn't make any sense other than increasing the number of teams and the number of runs the opposition players can score. It may be good for the individual players to boost their records, but its a bit ridiculous for sure.

Indians will have Bengladesh and Bermuda to try their different combinations, but Indians have lost to Bengladesh before, so they better not take it too lightly. And I strongly believe that its time Zimbawe stop playing cricket or sort out their problems. The team which had the players like Andy Flower, Grant Flower and Neil Johnson, seems to be in a mood to lose all the time


Indians have the best batting line-up, with consistency and also power in their bag. Saurav Ganguly has made the most truimphant return to the team, which he always deserved, and Yuvraj Singh is also back in a stylish way. Ganguly, Tendulkar and Dravid have a good record in the World Cup, so their performance is going to matter a lot. It will be upto Dhoni to do all the finishing work, and lets hope that he can do that well. The contributions of the Indian tail will be important too, especially when we play with 6 batsmen.

But Indians certainly have their embodiment of problems, called Shewag and Pathan, and the former has been more of a discoverer, finding new ways to get out even when he is dominating. Well, Pathan's decline is quite unbelievable, wonder if his hair cut has to do something with his luck and performance, and the number of ads - its time he understand that the game comes first.

Indian bowling line-up is still as good as the last World Cup. We have the same Zaheer Khan who gave the worst start in the last World Cup final, but with some better experience to his credit. We don't have Nehra or Srinath, but there is Sreesanth and Munaf Patel, the young pacers along with the man who has been in and out of the team, Ajit Agarakar. I believe that Agarkar bats pretty well too, as he has already proved.

With Harbhajan and Kumble also in the list, the bowling attack looks good, but the question is that, will this be enough against the higher ranked teams, and will they be able to stop the flow rund when the players like Afridi, Jayauriya and Gilchrist will be batting during the power play.


Another team which looks as much unpredictable as India, might be Srilanka. They seems to depend on their senior players more than they should be. The series against India showed their weaknesses in batting and the inability to stay at the crease. But they were lucky enough to reach respectable scores, thanks to the lower order. May be its the opening slot which makes all the difference, and we all know what Jayasurya can do. And the return of Murali and Vaas can give them more confidence, and we will know how good they are, from their group match against India. But the Pakistan team will have to work harder than any other team in this World Cup, due to a number of missing quality players!

The one team which can manage to raise their level in this World Cup will be the Black Caps. They have always been an under-rated team, but considering the current situation of the team and their balance, they looks the best. Their long batting order which is strengthened by the presence for the returning gladiator McMillan and also the talented Fulton and Taylor, makes them a fiery side. And there is Bond, even if injury reigns supreme in his case. They never seemed to be affected by the absence of a player like Astle in the last series, and with Oram all set to go berserk, there is no clue what will be waiting the other teams.

But, the disadvantage of this World Cup would be the sleep-factor. The timing of the matches won't do good for the Indian viewers, and there may be more people taking leave this month. And as it is telecasted in Max, I am afraid that there will be Mandira Bedi there again, and it is not going to increase the viewership in any way. So I am not going to rate this World Cup higher even if it starts with my birthday!

My playing 11:

Saurav Ganguly

Robin Uthappa

Rahul Dravid

Yuvraj Singh

Sachin Tendulkar

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Ajit Agarkar

Harbhajan Singh

Zaheer Khan


Munaf Patel

PS:- I wonder if its the Hero Honda ad which is bringing all the bad luck! Ganguly was dropped from captaincy after acting in that, Yuvraj got injured for a long time, Raina, Kaif, Shewag and Pathan got out of form.

And I was wondering if they show warm-up matches in some channel;)


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